Dreams do come true…sort of

04Sep07

It looks my eulogy for Jeremy Roenick’s career was premature. If you read that or if you’ve been a longtime reader of this blog, you’ll know that JR was my favorite player for a long, long time, and it’s always been kind of a twisted dream of mine to have him play for the Sharks.

Well, hot damn, now that dream is a reality. Of course, it’s not exactly how I planned it out. I wanted the skate-through-a-brick-wall-and-score JR from about a decade ago, not the can-barely-score-20-points JR of today.

From an analytical perspective, it’s an interesting calculated gamble. Roenick’s essentially replacing Mark Smith, but his upside is far greater. Ron Wilson likes to play a speed-and-puck possession game, which isn’t nearly as rigid as the defensive-scheme Wayne Gretzky was employing in Phoenix. Perhaps this is the right formula to get Roenick back into respectability. And at worst, he’s a fourth-line center with some offensive ability and pretty reasonable at faceoffs.

I’d even experiment with making JR a second-line center and shifting Patrick Marleau to the wing. Assuming Devin Setoguchi makes the team, Steve Bernier bounces back, and Ryane Clowe and Joe Pavelski get a little better, there’s certainly an interesting distribution of forward depth. This move may be the precursor to someone like Marcel Goc or Pavelski getting traded.

The big question I see is whether or not he’ll be a locker room problem. The room is already pretty laid back, and one of Doug Wilson’s directives was to give it a more business-like atmosphere. I don’t know if disco-dancin’ JR will necessarily help that, but he’s got to realize that for the final time in his career, he’s on a team with real chance at the Stanley Cup. If that won’t motivate him to fall in line, perhaps nothing will.

And if things don’t work out for him, I know of some pretty good burger joints in downtown where he can watch the game. Look, while the analyst in me is thinking, “It’s a reasonable gamble with some upside,” the fanboy in me is jumping up and down like a little kid. Yeah, he probably won’t make too much of an impact, but just to see him wear the Sharks jersey is going to be pretty cool, at least for a lifelong fan.

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4 Responses to “Dreams do come true…sort of”

  1. 1 Mike

    I’m with you, Mike. JR is one of my all-time favorite players. The prototypical power forward. And like you, I’m a little confused as to why they would sign him. There are too many good young players to add a 37-year old gamble. Maybe Wilson is hoping he’ll be a Mark Bell-type bull, without the substance abuse and rap sheet.

    Howsa bout the Bell trade being one of the best jettisons in NHL history?

  2. 2 Aaron

    I’m not really sure how much production to expect, or where JR fits in on the ice, but I kind of like this move off the ice the more I think about it. One of the things I’ve felt was lacking from the Sharks the past couple of years was an older veteran without any cups who is desperate in his last real chance to get one. It’s something other players on the team can really rally around. I know JR is not Dave Andreychuck, but I also know that the Tampa Bay Lightning wouldn’t have won their cup if they hadn’t collectively adopted a “win one for Dave” attitude. I also think that JR’s outspokenness might be beneficial because he is not afraid to get in someone’s face or to call them out publicly. Of course there is a flip side to that, which is JR spouting off if he doesn’t get the ice time or linemates he feels he deserves. But the bottom line is the Sharks have a need for someone who will get pissed off about losing and I don’t think JR is afraid of being that guy.

  3. 3 Patrick C

    And now you get to have his jersey in teal. Not sure if the trade of Goc/Little Joe since they are just in the beginning of their careers.

    Glad to see your dream come true.

    my rant: play Murray a TON more!

  4. 4 Mike Chen

    The great thing about getting a JR jersey is that there’s no way I can further curse him. In fact, I may be able to reverse-curse him into an awesome season!


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